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Looking at the “Qu qie” Chapter of the Zhuangzi from the Guodian *Yucong IV Bamboo Slip Manuscript (從郭店簡《語叢四》看《莊子·胠篋》)

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The *Yucong IV manuscript, part of the Guodian bamboo manuscript corpus, has an excerpt from the “Qu qie” chapter of the Zhuangzi. Since the date of the Guodian materials is no later than 300 B.C.E., the date of the composition of the “Qu qie” chapter must have been earlier than this. Since “Qu qie” is assigned to the Outer Chapters in the Zhuangzi, modern scholars have often regarded it as a later product. Now that *Yucong IV has an excerpt from this chapter, we know that this traditional interpretation is by no means accurate. Information in “Qu qie” provides additional clues to further determine that the date of this chapter is earlier than 300 B.C.E. Because of this, “Qu qie” must have been from the hand of Zhuangzi himself or from one of his immediate pupils. However, since the philosophical perspective and many terms and language of “Qu qie” are drawn from the Laozi, we can also learn more about the issue of whether or not the Laozi and early Daoism and Confucianism were philosophically differentiated.郭店簡《語叢四》摘錄了《莊子 · 胠篋》篇的文句,而這批楚簡的時代不晚於公元前300年,故《胠篋》篇的時代要早於這一時間。由於《胠篋》列於《莊子》外篇,近代學者多以爲晚出,現在知道《語叢四》已經引用該篇,可知以往的這一認識幷不正確。根據《胠篋》篇中一些可供判斷年代的地方,也能看出該篇的時代在公元前300年以前,因此《胠篋》篇應當是出自莊子或其及門弟子之手。而《胠篋》的思想觀點和許多詞語是由《老子》引申而來,對於瞭解《老子》及早期道家與儒家是否有思想分歧的問題也有重要的幫助。

Affiliations: 1: The Department of History, Tsinghua University, Beijing ; 2: 北京,清華大學歷史系


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1. Cui Dahua 崔大華, Zhuangzi qi jie 莊子歧解 (Zhengzhou: Zhongzhou guji chubanshe, 1988).
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9. Yang Kuan 楊寬, Zhanguo shi 戰國史 (Shanghai: Shanghai renmin chubanshe, 1980).

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